Support our view of freedom or we’ll throw your lying, anti-patriotic ass in jail

You hear a lot of talk about patriotism and freedom in an election year.  Each side of a political contest claims a monopoly on both buzzwords.

But do those who bandy about claims of freedom and patriotism really understand either concept?

One would hope they do but based on the way too many use both words we doubt the validity of their words or intentions.

Consider this comment recently from a reader of Capitol Hill Blue who posted under the name of “Freedom Loving American.”

When freedom loving Americans put Dr. Ron Paul in the White House and true patriots rule the country we will put traitors like you in prison and you never see the light of day again.”

Interesting.  Apparently, freedom of expression is not allowed in this person’s vision of a free, patriotic America.

We’re not the only one threatened with jail.

Over at Time, a post by Alex Altman in the magazine’s Swampland blog brought this response from a reader who called himself SlickR:

The fact that this article has more comments than the previous 6 combined just shows the fact that Ron Paul is winning, can win and will win. And journalists like Alex Altman will go in prison once things turn around.

Well, good. At least we’ll have come cell-mates under the new American “freedom” when the nation is run by “patriots.”

All too often, those who scream the loudest about “freedom” are the same ones who advocate suppression of views of those who disagree.

Is it freedom to declare everyone who disagrees an enemy and traitor to the state?

God, we hope not.

Is it patriotism to denounce all opposing views as anti-patriotic?

Not in the America envisioned by the founders.

Somewhere along the line, the concept of a nation of diverse people with differing views got lost in the din of hyperbole, inflated rhetoric and demands for strict adherence to political dogma.

When Republicans conservatives declare anyone with moderate views a RINO (Republican In Name Only), it sends a message that only extreme right-wing views are welcome.

When Democrats decry others as “not liberal enough” to be members of the party of the donkey it says “we don’t want to hear alternatives. It’s our way or the highway.”

When voters send these extremists from the right and the left to  Washington, we get a gridlocked Congress where government cannot function.

And those who declare anything by government celebrate the demise of reason.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Abraham Lincoln said.

Got a news flash for you Abe.  The house is divided.  Has been for some time.

Even worse, those who claim they want to bring the house back together actually want to divide it further.

You can call it many things:  An uncivil war, a new American revolution or game change.

But you can’t call it freedom or patriotism.

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23 Responses to "Support our view of freedom or we’ll throw your lying, anti-patriotic ass in jail"

  1. Bill Cravener  May 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

    “All too often, those who scream the loudest about “freedom” are the same ones who advocate suppression of views of those who disagree.”

    Yep, those who hide their cowardly arses behind silly anonymous handles do indeed scream the loudest!

    • Almandine  May 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Non sequitor…?

      • Bill Cravener  May 19, 2012 at 4:43 am

        The word is “sequitur” (latin ‘it follows’).

        As I stated above, whoever you are, those screaming the loudest on the net about the loss of freedom, more often then not, post anonymously.

    • griff  May 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Still whining about screen names Bill?

      • Bill Cravener  May 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

        You betya whats-your-face! Has a good ring to it when you can refer to me by name (Bill Cravener), don’t it?

        • griff  May 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm

          What’s in a name?

          • Almandine  May 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm

            In some cases… narcissism.

            • Doug Thompson  May 20, 2012 at 9:09 am

              All right, this inane string of petty sniping has gone on too long and it ends now. If all of you want to act like a bunch of kindergarten bullies, do it elsewhere. Either discuss the issues or shut up.

              • Almandine  May 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

                “… or we’ll throw your lying, anti-patriotic…” Yep, fits right in.

                Uh, seriously, what does it mean to be “not liberal enough”? Is that the classical liberal, for whom property rights and self-determination are the hallmarks of freedom, or is it the progressive liberal for whom entitlement and social deviance are the standard bearers?

                Those different definitions do, indeed, portend world views of uncompromising fervor, especially for those who mean what they say.

                • griff  May 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm

                  What issues? It’s all good…The economy, the wars, the global imperialism.

                  Exceptional!

                  Just enjoy the circus…And eat your bread!!!

                  • Doc_Holiday  May 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

                    … Or cake?

  2. Almandine  May 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Good commentary, Doug.

  3. glennk1949  May 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    When are all the sunshine patriots and Corporatists out here going to stop using 9/11 as an excuse to destroy what little is left of the Constitution? Unfortunately, it appears that Ben Franklin’s warning about the desire for a little security at the price of our freedom has come true in spades. Since 9/11 we’ve had neither security nor freedom in this country and the ones who want to keep it that way all have one thing in common as far as I can see, they’re all profiting BIG time from it.

  4. griff  May 21, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I worked last Friday in Albany for the day – our state capitol here in New York.

    Every where you look you see top-dollar cars on the road – one after another.

    That’s where our hard-earned tax dollars, not to mention the extra trillions in unearned federal and state income goes – to bureaucrats and the corporate sponsors of this parasitic government.

    Eking out our substance – again?

  5. Doc_Holiday  May 21, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I beg to differ with Bill’s comment string in that most individuals are emboldened to speak up with the top cover that anonymity may provide. Even if such attempts are futile in effort on a website that can track IP addresses and link them to your own self-described email address. Which as you know can be easily looked up with the account under which you registered (i.e. yahoo, gmail, and so on). That’s without even bringing up the Patriot Act. But I beg you how else is one to defend his or her freedom of speech against an ever intrusive government bent on subjugating its citizenry. This cannot be the vision in which are founders had for a future America.

    • Jon  May 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      I’d like to claim the major point is that anonymity doesn’t so much as ‘enable more shouting’ as much as it ‘enables commentary to be made at all’.

      By demanding “Your Papers, Please”, you are not so much shutting down the extremists as you are shutting down the moderates who under such requirements shall say or do nothing at all.

      (And IP tracking can be highly entertaining. To track me it would involve a round trip of 50,000 miles (yes, fifty thousand) as I’m coming to you from geosynchronous orbit (Satellite Internet for the win! :) Even the ground stations show me as anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand miles away (as is the ISP of my email address)). Your best bet would be tracking down the billing address for the credit card(s) I use to pay for them, and even that will only get you to a wall of otherwise anonymous post office boxes. Wheee!! :) )

      Now, back to your regularly scheduled topic…

      J.

      • Jon  May 22, 2012 at 4:57 am

        Publius might disagree with you.

        It’s your website. You may do with it what you will, and I wish you the best.

        I don’t think you really want me to, but I’ll address your questions one by one:

        Yes, it has come to this. Just an accusation can be such a terrible thing to defend against that it’s not even worthwhile: See plea bargaining.

        Yes, those of us who speak up anonymously do think we’re furthering freedom, if only by pointing out awkward and unpopular problems.

        Freedom is served by allowing anyone, without threat of repurcussion, having a voice.

        One of the points of democracy is freedom of speech, insulting or not. I may disagree with with you say, I shall defend your right to say it.

        Unpopularity of opinions has to meet with practicality of expression. That my opinions may get me physically attacked is a serious deterrent to expressing them at all.

        So I’m a coward. Have a nice day.

        Jon

        • Doug Thompson  May 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

          Huh? What are you talking about Jon?

          • Jon  May 22, 2012 at 6:02 am

            I guess I was shootin’ at shadows.

            J.

          • Jon  May 22, 2012 at 7:06 am

            Therein lies another problem with anonymity – Impersonation. How do you know I’m the same ‘Jon’ I was yesterday? If I respond to ‘Doug Thompson’ am I responding the publisher of this website or someone impersonating him?

            It’s a useful question.

            It also comes with plausible deniability.

            J.

            • Doug Thompson  May 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

              If it comes from me It has my name on it. If it comes from the editor it is identified at “Capitol Hill Blue.” Other staff members are identified. A list of our writing and editing staff appears on our FAQs page.

              Your email and ip address is captured by our system and used as a unique identifier. Even thought the public can’t see either, our server does.

              Our spam filter did delete a comment filed earlier today by a poster who left one letter out of my last name so that the post appeared to come from me. It was flagged and deleted and that poster’s id information has been flagged as spam. Perhaps that was the post you replied to? It pays to take a close look at the name.

              • Jon  May 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

                It seems I got suckered. Perhaps I’ve read too many Tintin books (not the movie) where Thompson and Thomson did a Mutt and Jeff act.

                Ah well. Not much harm done, I hope, and I feel duly chastened.

                I shall pay more attention to the details in the names in the future.

                Jon

  6. Doc_Holiday  May 22, 2012 at 8:32 am

    …Or cake?

Comments are closed.